Product Profile

Urbanization (Earth Matters unit)



This product is an individual unit from the high school curriculum Earth Matters. Purchase the unit now and you’ll immediately receive the unit as a PDF. Scroll down to see the list lessons plans and readings included in the unit.

Note: If you’re planning to purchase Earth Matters or have already done so, you don’t need to purchase this unit as it is included within the larger Earth Matters curriculum.

Other Earth Matters units include: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Energy, Food and Hunger, Forests, Oceans, Personal Consumption, Population Dynamics, Public Health, Rich and Poor, Solid Waste, Water Resources, and The World’s Women.

SKU: EM_Urbanization Category:


The following are included with the purchase of the unit:

Lesson Plans:

  • Growing Smarter – In small groups, students analyze a map of an undeveloped area within a city in order to create and present a growth plan that incorporates smart growth concepts.
  • Growing Pains in Texas Hill Country – Students read a news article about local population growth in San Marcos, TX and the resulting sprawl, then write a proposed solution and simulate a city council debate.
  • In Search of Sustainable Life – Students develop an index of the ten factors they identify as most important to a sustainable community and develop models for measuring those factors.
  • Tale of Three Megacities – Students analyze data and images about three megacities, identifying challenges and benefits of growing urbanization, and then collaborate in small groups to compare and contrast social, political, economic, and environmental issues across the cities.

Background Reading:

  • Rise of the Urban Planet – Our world population is rapidly urbanizing. Yet, urban and suburban sprawl in developed countries and the spread of urban slums in developing countries pose challenges to environmental and human health.

Case Study Reading:

  • Shenzen: From Fishing Village to Megacity in 30 Years – A profile of the growth of Shenzen, China.